SDSU returns to winning ways

SDSU women’s basketball rebounded from back to back losses, returning home to defeat Sam Houston State 60-49 in a contest that was nowhere near as close as the final score.

The Jackrabbits jumped out to an early advantage, at one point leading 28-7 on their way to a 40-17 halftime advantage.

SHSU’s 17 points were the fewest points the Jacks have allowed in the first half of a game since Feb. 16, 2013 on the road at Western Illinois.

The second half saw the Jackrabbits take a more practice oriented approach and also featured more of the SDSU bench which went 12 deep.

“Part of that second half offense comes back to what we were trying to do and work on,” said head coach Aaron Johnston. “I think we’ve been really perimeter oriented and we need to get the ball inside more. … Second half we were committed to going in there and they had three, four people inside the paint, so in our players’ defense that plan of mine probably wasn’t going to be effective against that style.”

SDSU led by as many as 30 points with nine minutes to play but SHSU finished on a 23-3 run and scored the last 16 points of the game against the Jackrabbit bench.

“I didn’t think we finished the game as well as we would have liked to, but it was a good win,” Johnston said. “We had a tough trip on the weekend and didn’t really have time to get ready for this. I thought we looked a little tired in the second half.”

Sophomore forward Clarissa Ober led the Jacks with a career-high 12 rebounds along with five points.

“Coming into this game I knew we had a height advantage and I told myself that I’ve got to go to the boards because I’ve got a big advantage on their girls inside,” Ober said.

Only Kerri Young broke double figures scoring as the Jackrabbits spread out their points among 11 different players.

Senior Rachel Walters came off the bench with nine points, five rebounds and a game-high, and career-high, three steals.

“As a senior she can bring a real toughness and energy to our team and that’s rebounding and defense, kind of the scrappy plays, and she can make some threes,” Johnston said. “I thought she played really hard today. She’s a good energy getter for the team.”

SDSU held a 53-32 rebound advantage but struggled in several other facets, turning the ball over 17 times and allowing 34 free throw attempts, while only earning 13 attempts for themselves, of which they made seven.

“Thirty-four free throws for the other team – that is unacceptable,” Johnston said. “Normally, 24 fouls is two-and-a-half games worth of fouls for us. That’s just unacceptable.”

Next up for SDSU will be a trip to the UNLV Tournament where they open tournament action against Northern Illinois on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.